As I'm sure some of you know, I haven't really been on the Tavon Austin bandwagon... But seeing how the dream has become a reality for so many fans, I figured I'll offer my thoughts of why it will work; and why the Rams chose to pick him up.
Things I'm Most Excited About
Even worse than our offense last year was our special teams (in regards to returning)... We can now boast perhaps the best potential special teams unit in the league. Austin's dynamic return skills will help us from day 1. FINALLY someone exciting to watch.
2 Minute Offense
Austin provides some great versatility, that can really provide us with the ability to create some intriguing spread formations... especially in a no-huddle situation. He has experience lining up in the backfield, and could be moved all over the place... as of right now (we could add another receiver), our 5 receiver set would look like this...
Quick, Kendricks, Cook, Austin, Givens... Those 5 players in combination could create SO MANY matchup nightmares... It will create all sorts of problems for teams trying to get the right personnel on the field... Because we could go fast, then shift into a two TE power formation and run the ball with Austin... Our no huddle offense should be explosive next year.
Chris Givens' role
My original reasoning for not drafting Austin is because of how we currently use Chris Givens. Towards the middle to the end of the season, Givens was put in motion quite a bit. He was our screen guy, and our gadget play guy... Now, Austin moves in to that role. However, this likely shows the confidence in the development of Givens. Givens showed in the last few games that he didn't have to have plays designed specifically for him. He was making plays doing the more conventional things at WR. In contrast to Austin moving in to take Amendola's spot, I believe that Givens will pick up Amendola's role in the offense, and Austin will move into Givens' role. This won't be a universal thing... as part of offensive schematics is trying to keep the defense guessing... But from a general standpoint, I think this is how it will be.
Things That I Have Questions About
2 WR Sets
While I believe that we're moving toward more three and four receiver sets, there's no doubt in my mind that at times we'll be going 2 TE 2 WR 1 RB... In fact, with our current personnel, that could be one of our scariest groupings. However, with Givens and Austin doing similar things, will they be paired together or will one be paired with Quick... and if so, which one?
How will Austin stand up against big corners like Richard Sherman?
Honestly, I didn't watch much tape on Austin.. But I'm wondering how well he does against press coverage; because I'm guessing that he'll see a ton of it.
And one thing to hopefully calm a worry or two... Austin has no real injury history, and while he's small, he's well built for his height. In fact, his compact size will make him much less prone to injury than sayyyy, DX.
Overall, while I wouldn't have traded up to choose Austin, I think it could work out well for the franchise... The last time I was at all upset about a pick, his name happened to be Sam Bradford... Things appear to be looking good for Bradford, and it's safe to say that I was wrong on that one (especially given the headache of Ndamukong Suh).
It will be exciting to see the Rams offense transition from a power run game to a spread out attack.